Risk assessment of the consequences of climate change in Mauritania

 (via ReliefWeb)
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Nouakchott, Mauritania
Position Type: 
Consultancy
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Apply By: 
6 August 2020
Less than 1 day remaining

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II. BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an inter-governmental organization, established in 1951, which is a leader on the migration scene. With 166 Member States and 8 Observer States, and offices in more than 100 countries, it works closely with its governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners to manage migration in an orderly and dignified manner, to promote international cooperation on migration, to facilitate practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. As of September 2016, IOM became the United Nations agency responsible for migration. IOM has been present in Mauritania since 2006.

According to IOM's Global Migration Report 2020, climate change plays a major role in the livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations and mobility in West Africa. Besides environmental slow onset events such as land degradation, coastal erosion and rainfall unpredictability, this region is particularly vulnerable to sudden events such as floods. Ever since the 1960’s Mauritania, located in the semi-arid region of the Sahel, witnessed persistent, recurring and increasing drought cycles due to rainfall deficit (1968-1974, 1983-1984, 2002-2003, 2005-2009, 2011-2012, 2015, 2017-2018), which has negatively affected the ecological, social, economic and even cultural environment of the country and called for an emergency response plan. These disasters frequently result in internal displacements which can increase the vulnerability of populations, by reducing their access to essential services and livelihood options, and in some cases increase instability and exposure to poverty and insecurity.

Climate change adverse effects in Mauritania like desertification, drought and increasing temperatures are impacting the resilience of individuals, communities and territories to withstand the impacts of subsequent natural disasters like floods, wildfires or extreme heatwaves, and which trigger displacements. For example, as demonstrated by the floods in September 2018 and 2019, a recurrent drought coupled with slow evolving desertification undermined the ability of Hodh Ech Chargui and Guidimakha communities to cope with rainfalls, as the absorptive capacity of soils was reduced, leaving larger areas prone to flooding. Due to the important needs for institutional preparedness to disasters in Mauritania, it resulted in
unorganized and uncoordinated efforts to tackle displacements. Previsions for the next rainy seasons do not predict any improvements of the situation with even a worsening factor of a new road infrastructure in the Hodh Ech Chargui region which by all accounts will prevent water evacuation and increase flooding risks. The Mauritanian Government and vulnerable communities in Hodh Ech Chargui or Guidimakha alike have not yet been able to fully and effectively respond to disasters risks and displacements related challenges with the adequate level of preparedness at the technical, operational or institutional level. These elements together with the urgent request of support from the Ministry of Interior call for an immediate action to ensure the stability and resilience of the communities.

In addition, national authorities in Mauritania never benefited from an integrated approach to disasters risks management with an in-depth risks assessment identifying evidence-based policies, investments and sustainable practices. Considering the environmental factors, demographic trends and general level of preparedness, supporting communities and authorities to strengthen their disaster management capacities in Mauritania is urgently needed.

With the aim of reducing risks related to disasters and thus strengthening community resilience to climate change, IOM has taken the initiative to implement a project to strengthen Mauritania's preparedness, response and resilience to weather related disasters, and especially floods.

This project funded by the Japanese supplementary budget from March 2020 can bridge an important gap, allowing IOM to provide critical support to vulnerable communities and respond to the urgent request from the Ministry of Interior. The overall objective of this project is to strengthen institutional knowledge on climate change effects and prevent climate change induced internal displacement through the strengthening of the disaster risk reduction and response capacities in Mauritania.
III. ORGANIZATION AND METHODOLOGY IOM is seeking to recruit a qualified consultant to conduct a regional risk assessment of the consequences of climate change in Mauritania (through the evaluation of its most vulnerable regions whose Guidimakha and Hodh Chargui) using customize tools developed by the consultant and based on IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (collection of socio-demographic information, economic information, data on transhumant movements, as well as mapping of infrastructure, in particular pastoral and agricultural infrastructure). IOM’s DTM gathers and analyzes data to disseminate critical multi layered information on the mobility, vulnerabilities and needs of displaced and mobile population that enables decision makers and responders to provide these populations with better context specific assistance.

The consultant will conduct an assessment of Mauritania's institutional mechanisms, capacities and policies in terms of DRM (Disaster Risk Management), DRR (Disaster Reduction Risk) as well as recommendations on its sustainable resource management practices. The assessment will need to reflect potential occurrence, intensity and impact of hazards on the population with a specific focus on displacement, assets and infrastructure in the country, including the impact of increasing effects of climate change. The exercise could also be used to support the formulation of risk awareness activities targeting key institutions and the general public and provide a knowledge base to better integrate disaster risk considerations in national DRR and preparedness planning efforts.

As part of this ongoing project, the recruited consultant should establish a methodology for risk analysis of the consequences of climate change. This will involve identifying the most affected
regions, the extent of risk exposure and vulnerability. The methodology will require a literature review, data collection and gaps analysis and will be done in close collaboration with local stakeholders. More specifically, the following tasks will be conducted:

Document review and analysis:

• This includes identification, compilation and analysis of existing information on hazards exposure (including human and economic), vulnerability (physical and socio-economic) and previous risk assessments. The documentation review allows on the one hand, to identify climatic events (floods, storms, etc.) and, on the other hand, to link these events to the impacts suffered by the region concerned in order to assess the consequences and the response capacity of this region.

• Estimation of the potential impact and expected losses at local level using appropriate return periods for applications on emergency response and preparedness, urban planning and assets’ insurance, among others. The estimated potential impact should include: o Human impact o Economic impact o Impact to critical infrastructure (hospitals, schools, government buildings, strategic infrastructure, etc.)

• At sub-national and local levels, the results must be detailed enough to support operational planning and the implementation of specific mitigation options.

• Completion of identified gaps in data and information. This will include proper consideration of expected climate change-induced variations.

Data Collection:

• Collection and analysis of existing data (also collected through DTM) and research on climate change in Mauritania • Collection of scientific data such as geophysical, meteorological and oceanographic data (rainfall regularity, barometric pressures, winds...). Obtaining these research data is a necessity in order to establish the climatic profile of the areas under consideration.

• Identification and selection of large-scale climate change scenarios and study of potential impacts on communities

• Development of detailed climate scenarios and mapping of climate change indicators

• Measure the distribution of people, infrastructure, housing and other tangible human goods in the identified risk areas. This will include a physical inventory of geography, population, economy, agriculture and infrastructures. It will enable the quantitative risks associated with hazards in the areas of interest to be estimated
• Provide an overview of vulnerabilities related to climate change, as well as the populations exposed to these risks through existing or other research.

Coordination and Partnerships:

Align the risk assessment with the country’s needs and priorities in support of its development agenda. For this purpose, the following activities are recommended:

• Identify and map the national actors in charge of climate issues to understand the context and identify key partners. Develop tools for data collection and risk assessment to be used by the local authorities

• Develop a list of interviews with national actors in charge of climate issues and field visits in areas of the country prone to hazards and previously identified and classified according to priorities, to be conducted during data collection. These visits will allow to highlight the environmental characteristics of an area and thus identify the risks associated with natural disasters.

• Regarding interviews, the consultant may refer to the CADRI (Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative) tool, which includes a questionnaire that serves as a basis for conducting an assessment based on direct interviews. Evaluators will review the questionnaire and select relevant questions for each interview.

In view of the current pandemic situation, the parts of the assessment that require meetings will be conducted remotely through e-mail exchanges or interviews by telephone or via skype.

EXPERTISE, SKILLS REQUIRED AND DURATION OF THE STUDY

• Expertise in climatology or geography with at least 5 years of higher education and professional experience of at least 6 years in similar studies

• Strong knowledge of human mobility in the context of environmental degradation and climate change • Extensive knowledge of climate change issues

• Specific expertise in humanitarian response preparedness

• A good level in data analysis using Excel or SPSS or equivalent data analysis tools (R, Python)

• A good knowledge of West Africa in general and Mauritania in particular, would be a major asset

Required skills:

• Excellent communication and writing skills • Have a spirit of initiative, research and analysis

• Ability to work under pressure with minimal supervision

• Good interpersonal and institutional skills

• Ability to work in a multicultural environment

• Good command of IT tools

The duration of the study is estimated at (90) days.

IV. DELIVERABLES

The consultant to carry out the evaluation will be required to provide the following deliverables:

• An inception report that will present the evaluation methodology and clearly explain how the approach proposed by the consultant will achieve the objective of this evaluation This must include:
• Analysis of structural and social vulnerability to key hazards (considering most common housing typologies, critical infrastructure, public buildings)
• Description of key factors and patterns of community vulnerability, vulnerable groups and the drivers of vulnerability, existing knowledge and coping systems
• A mid-term evaluation report summarizing and analyzing the activities already carried out, which will make it possible to assess the degree of achievement of the objectives as well as the difficulties encountered, if any. Make comments or recommendations if necessary.
• Detailed report on the risk assessment of the consequences of climate change including the following elements:

➢ Global description of the region’s most at risk studied: geography, population, economy, infrastructure, environment, etc...
➢ Description of the vulnerability of these regions and the impacts of climate change on them
➢ Provide adaptation solutions to the risks due to climate change at the environmental, economic and social levels
➢ Develop tools for the transfer of knowledge to local actors and to ensure the continuation of risk assessments.
The Consultant shall not divulge any information on the progress or results of the work without the prior advice of IOM. The number of copies to be provided is as follows:
• Interim Report: 02 copies with one electronic copy
• Final report: 03 copies with one electronic copy
The terms of reference include the following documents:

  • Minutes of the bi-weekly meetings;
    -Progress reports;
    • The final report;
    • Minutes of the reception;

How to apply

V. TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL OFFER

The application folder should include:

• The consultant's general references (copies of documents, work contract, etc.)

• Specific references related to the fields of evaluation accompanied by supporting documents (contracts, acceptance reports, etc.)

• Understanding of the needs and services expected through the interpretation of the terms of reference

• Presentation of the proposed methodology and a strategy for carrying out the mission

• The curriculum vitae (CV) with legalized photocopies of the diplomas
• The financial offer will include all costs related to the execution of the mission (fees, travelling costs, office supplies and consumables...)

VI. EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS

Applications will be evaluated based on the technical and financial offers received. The evaluation of the technical and financial offers is the sole responsibility of IOM. The evaluation is confidential, and no applicant may request to see it.

VII. PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATURES Interested service providers are requested to submit their application documents (CV, copies of diplomas, technical and financial offers, etc.) to the following e-mail address:

Deadline for submission: 6 August
Please note that:

  1. Applications sent after the date of 6 August will not be accepted.
    2.Only complete application files including the technical offer, the financial offer, copies of diplomas and certifications obtained, and CVs will be taken into consideration.

3.Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.

Deadline for submission: 6 August

Please note that: 1. Applications sent after the date of 6 August will not be accepted.

2.Only complete application files including the technical offer, the financial offer, copies of diplomas and certifications obtained, and CVs will be taken into consideration. 3.Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.